Disney just announced a truly overwhelming new slate of upcoming movies and TV shows, revealed during a public conference for Disney investors. The whole list is way too long to include here, so we’ve put together the main highlights from the Marvel franchise. And yes, there were some pretty major announcements here, including a live-action Fantastic Four reboot and five new Disney+ shows. Phew!
The new Marvel shows on Disney+
Marvel fans have five new shows to look forward to on Disney+, along with trailers for hotly anticipated projects like Loki and Ms. Marvel. The brand new stuff is pretty varied: A Secret Invasion adaptation starring Samuel L. Jackson and Ben Mendelsohn (who played the Skrull leader Talos in Captain Marvel), an Ironheart show starring Dominique Thorne as the Iron Man spinoff hero Riri Williams, a Don Cheadle/War Machine show called Armor Wars, a series of shorts titled I Am Groot, and a Guardians of the Galaxy holiday special, echoing the now-infamous Star Wars holiday special. It’s a lot!
As for the shows we already knew about, Disney had plenty of trailers and casting news to offer. We got another trailer for WandaVision (which premieres next month), and the first real trailer for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, which looks like a straightforward action-focused adventure series. There’s also a trailer for the animated What If…? series, which features a star-studded voice cast and explores alternate Marvel universes. The trailer for Tom Hiddleston’s Loki series was the most exciting, teasing plenty of star power, high production values, and the zany tone we’d expect from the MCU’s most popular antihero.
The Ms. Marvel teaser was another major highlight. We’ve known about the first four Marvel/Disney+ shows for a while now, and they all star popular MCU movie characters. Ms. Marvel, however, is brand new. The lead actress was only announced in October, and this teaser video generally just felt like a breath of fresh air.
Oh, and Disney confirmed that Tatiana Maslany will star in the She-Hulk show, while Hailee Steinfeld will co-star as Kate Bishop in Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye series. But everyone kind of knew that already.
Marvel movie news from the 2020 investors call
Over on the live-action movie side of things, there was one huge announcement: Fantastic Four. Ever since the Disney/Fox merger, Marvel fans have wondered how the Fantastic Four and X-Men might be integrated into the MCU. We don’t have any X-Men updates yet, but Fantastic Four is officially a go with Spider-Man: Homecoming director Jon Watts. The Fantastic Four have a pretty terrible track record in Hollywood, so there’s a lot of pressure here to make this reboot work.
Elsewhere, we got some casting announcements. Captain Marvel 2 will co-star Monica Rambeau (Photon) and Kamala Khan (Ms. Marvel), immediately providing a movie tie-in for Ms. Marvel’s Disney+ show. So that kills off any lingering speculation that Disney might limit its first Muslim superhero to the small screen. Marvel producer Kevin Feige also announced Kathryn Newton as a grown-up version of Ant-Man’s daughter, Cassie Lang, in the newly-titled Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania. And Christian Bale will play Gorr the God-Butcher in Thor: Love and Thunder. Gotta love those D-list Marvel character names! Disney also confirmed that young actress Xochitl Gomez will play America Chavez in the Doctor Strange sequel.
Finally, Kevin Feige made it absolutely clear that Chadwick Boseman won’t be recast in Black Panther 2. Instead, the film will explore the world of Wakanda and star familiar characters we met in the first movie.
Disney’s Marvel announcements were more scattershot than its big rollout of new Star Wars content. A lot of these projects are either already in progress, or were partially announced before. One of the most important pieces of news was more technical than a splashy casting announcement, however. Disney confirmed that Black Widow will still get a theatrical release. So while Warner Bros. caused massive amounts of Hollywood infighting by shifting its entire 2021 release slate to HBO Max, Disney is still emphasizing a divide between its Disney+ streaming and cinematic products.